Army Modifies Radar Systems

April 5, 2009

The U.S. Army is enhancing its mobile ground-based radars designed to detect incoming enemy artillery rounds. The AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder weapon-locating radar is a long-range system that is being deployed across the service to locate the sources of enemy mortar, artillery and rocket fire, and to relay that data for counterfire by friendly units. As part of the Army's Reliability Maintainability Improvement (RMI) program, the entire inventory of AN/TPQ-37 and AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder systems will be modified with a modular, air-cooled transmitter and new common radar processors. ThalesRaytheonSystems officials, the company that is contracted for the modifications, note that the upgrades will significantly reduce life-cycle costs, provide higher operational availability and extend the radar's expected operational life to the year 2030. The modifications are part of a $285 million production contract.

Navy Sends BAMS to Air Force

April 4, 2009

A U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) is part of the joint mission of the U.S. Air Force 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia. The new role marks the first operational mission for the BAMS UAS-a maritime derivative of the RQ-4 Global Hawk-although the aircraft has been used in noncombat roles. BAMS' arrival in Southwest Asia is the culmination of more than five months of a joint effort to stand up a maritime surveillance presence in the region. The move came when Navy officials responded to a Defense Department request for more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets in the area. Air Force personnel will control the system at the forward operating location, and Air Force instructors will train naval aviators. Experts from both military services have come together to create a process to ensure that differences in operational and maintenance rules and standards are identified and resolved quickly.

Army Adds EW Career Field

April 3, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

The U.S. Army is establishing an Electronic Warfare (EW) 29-series career field for officers, warrant officers and enlisted personnel that will cover topics ranging from information operations to improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Approximately 1,600 EW personnel will be added to the Army during the next three years. The service is considering expanding the career field by as many as 2,300 in the near future.

Personnel in this career field will be considered experts in fighting the threat of IEDs. In addition, they will guide commanders in the effects of the electromagnetic spectrum on operations as well as counsel them about how friendly EW can support tactical and operational objectives.

Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, USA, former commander of Multinational Corps-Iraq, identified the urgent need for EW specialists and capability in 2006 when he placed U.S. Navy EW officers with ground combat units in Iraq to manage electromagnetic spectrum. Creating the new Army career field enables more
efficient soldier preparation to help mitigate ways enemies use electromagnetic spectrum against U.S. troops, Gen. Chiarelli says.


April 3, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

One of the ironies of Web 2.0 applications is that the number of them increases on a daily basis. Designed to track Web 2.0 applications and services, Listio is a directory and product review site. Visitors can browse and rate a selection of Web 2.0 applications. Each application is profiled with a link to its home page

ATK Awarded Four-Year Contract to Operate Lake City Army Ammunition Plant

April 3, 2009
By Katie Packard

Alliant Techsystems (ATK) has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Contracting Center, Rock Island, Illinois, to continue operating the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant for an additional four years. Under the new contract, ATK will continue to supply small-caliber ammunition through September 2013. The Army also awarded ATK $481 million in orders under the new contract for production of 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and .50-caliber ammunition and to continue work to modernize the Lake City facility.

What Government Managers Can Learn From Google

April 2, 2009
By H. Mosher

In Christopher Dorobek's latest Incoming column, he bids readers to have a look at What Would Google Do?, a book by Jeff Jarvis that examines how people can learn from the search engine giant. The lessons, he says, are particularly important for government managers to wrap their brains around. "The book taps into the idea that information is power, but that the real power of information comes in the sharing," Dorobek writes. "Among the principles the book outlines are: give up control; get out of the way; and make mistakes well."